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Swanamutu, Land of the Black Men

by Giulio Caroletti

[Note: some of the information in this series of articles refer to material that will appear on the MA1017]

East of Minaea, from the city of Akuba eastwards and then to the southern tip of the continent of Skothar, at the north separated from the rest of Skothar by the Tangor Chain, lies the Lands of the Swanamutu.
Swanamutu means "the People", and is the name by which the black-skinned human settlers of south-eastern Skothar call themselves. They are mostly descendants of the Tanagoro, that lived in the south-eastern region of Skothar at the times of Blackmoor, but their blood is mixed with other human races, especially the descendants of the Afridhi.

Swanamutu is called the Black Lands by the Minaeans, because they call the Tangor, the westernmost settlers of the Swanamutu Lands, "Black Men". The term Swanamutu, that once referred to the human population in the Tanagoro language, is now commonly used as name of this region of the continent of Skothar.

The Swanamutu, or Black Men to keep things easy, are divided in many linguistic groups, forming a great number of state entities. Most live in the jungles and savannas that form the Swanamutu regions.
Inexplicably, Alphatian and Brunian maps alike draw mountains all along their lands, but this is just a simplification: although it is true that most of the region is well above sea level, mountains give often room to plateaus covered by jungles and savannah. Most Swanamutu share common traits, like the productive activities (agriculture, goat farming, craftsmanship) and the social organisation (division in clans and tribes), but generally a different religion (myths of the origin of the world, totem worship or not, ancestor's cult or not). There are also bloody rivalries among some of the tribes and even inside the same states.

There is also a number of minor cities: these are common in the southern regions, where Minaean merchants have brought democratic influences to populations living in less savage environments. Other cities have also been built by other human or humanoid races of Skothar who migrated here.
Apart from these nations and states, there are Green Orcs and Dark Goblins, a constant threat throughout Skothar, and other minor humanoid barbarian tribes.